Walk 57 – Peden’s Cove, Failford – 2 miles

This post contains affiliate links from which I may make a commission. All opinions are my own. If you’d like more information you can contact me via the Contact page, a link to which is at the bottom of this page in the footer.

Red sandstone staircase at Peden's Cove viewpoint

Peden’s Cove is hidden inside Ayr Gorge Woodland, a Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve. This beautiful and ancient woodland is formed around an incredible red sandstone canyon, which gives the water of the River Ayr a vibrant red appearance when the sun shines directly onto it! Peden’s Cove, a set of steps carved into the red sandstone cliffs, is reached a mile along the footpath (total walk distance 2 miles return). This is a fantastic walk for the whole family; not to be missed if you are in the Ayrshire area! 

Print  Dog-friendly walk

public-transport-icon-28  Parking available in Failford (KA5 5TF). Local bus service stops at this location too.

route image  Route:  Facing the Failford Inn (KA5 5TF), head right (South West) on B743. Immediately after crossing a bridge over the Water of Fail, turn left (South) to enter Ayr Gorge Woodlands. Follow this woodland trail across a footbridge then up a steep staircase. At the top of the stairs keep left at any forks in the path (not shown on map). The River Ayr is on your left-hand side and the path follows the course of the river for 870m to a fork. Keep left. 360m along you will reach Peden’s Cove viewpoint. Retrace your steps to return to the Failford Inn

Route map - Peden's Cove

Use this website often? I invite you to support my work through Patreon or by making a one-off donation.

WALK REVIEW: 21st May 2016

When I completed the Annbank to Failford section of the River Ayr Way, I vowed to bring my family back to Ayr Gorge Woodland reserve. I couldn’t believe that such a lovely place existed so close to home and I had never heard of it before! The river is lined by red sandstone cliffs forming a canyon and if you go early evening as we did when the sun is shining directly into River Ayr, the water actually appears red thanks to the sandstone beneath it.

Sun shining into the River Ayr highlighting the red sandstone beneath
The seemingly red water of the River Ayr

Throughout the woods the beautiful smell of wild garlic followed us. This is the first year I have noticed that it actually flowers, lovely white blossoms lining the floor making it look like a dusting of snow.

wild garlic on Peden's Cove path
Wild garlic in flower along the edges of the path
wild garlic flower
Closeup of wild garlic flowers

It is a short enough walk to take small kids on. My two enjoyed throwing stones into the river from the path! Can anyone see the rainbow just where the stone hits the water??

Splash from a stone having been thrown into the River Ayr

When you reach the red sandstone steps of Peden’s Cove, take some time to read the information board which explains it’s fascinating history. What a peaceful spot!

Viewpoint at Peden's Cove
Peden’s Cove viewpoint

Use this website often? I invite you to support my work through Patreon or by making a one-off donation.

6 thoughts on “Walk 57 – Peden’s Cove, Failford – 2 miles

  1. Hi Neil thanks for your comment! I’m glad you enjoyed the walk to Pedens Cove. You are of course absolutely correct that the steps are dangerous and in fact the information board onsite asks the public to refrain from going onto them at all (adults and children alike) in order to preserve them. However, anyone who doesn’t read the information board will miss that instruction and likely be intregued into climbing up the side of the fence and onto the sandstone steps. I have actually had conversations with the SWT about them putting up an additional sign on the fence specifically asking people not to go any further however I’m aware this hasn’t happened. Not sure if it’s in their plans…. In any case, what I really should do is add a note to this blog post about it. I assumed I had, but your comment made me take another look and I haven’t. I guess I thought people would see the instruction once there but it doesn’t hurt for me to also point out the dangers/conservation issue here. Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent post and a very enjoyable walk. However, I feel it needs to come with a clear warning!

    I’d like to bring it to the attention of anyone who wants to enjoy this walk with young family that the sandstone steps at Peden’s cove are very eroded and slippery, and should not be accessed without an adult. At the top of the steps the path disappears to nothing and is extremely dangerous. Although the steps are very inviting, especially for adventurous young children, they are very dangerous.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.